tv Up W Chris Hayes MSNBC December 1, 2012 5:00am-7:00am PST
good morning, from new york. i'm chris hayes. a draft of egypt's new constitution will be delivered to president mohamed morsi today. private first class bradley manning accused of leaking classified documents to wikileaks will return to court in fort meade maryland. right now i'm joined by richard a renberg. allen frumin who retired as parliamentarian of the u.s. senate last year. this is his first interview since then. akil amar and sterling professor of law at yale law school. and msnbc contributor, victoria defrancesco soto. great to have you all here. all right. if president obama wants to get anything done in his second term, democrats in the senate will have to overcome one major obstacle, the filibuster.
since democrats took control of both chambers of congress in 2007, republicans have used the filibuster as a bludgeon against them to pass basic legislation. the senate bills that actually passed has dropped from just over 25% to a record low of 2.8% this year. the rate held steady at 10% through the clinton and bush years and then plummeted when democrats took control of congress in 2007. that is due in no small part to the filibuster. it's mutated to a routine impediment to legislative progress. it has turned congress into a body incapable of acting except in times of crises. it's just like the fiscal cliff right now. this was designed to force congress to deal with the deficit. now senate majority leader harry
reid is proposing changes to the filibuster that might make senate lesseesy. right now senators can block motions to proceed which means the senate can't even debate the legislation in question. president obama realizing the stakes for his second term agenda endorsed those changes on tuesday. white house communications director dan pfeiffer said in a state, the president supports sen tor reid's reform the filibuster. he has a chance to change the filibuster with a 51% majority. he is getting close to getting that majority. republicans, meanwhile, are apoplectic. mitch mcconnell has accused reid of throwing a bomb into the senate. john boehner said he will block it if the filibuster is
curtailed. all right. let's start at the most basic principle level. before we get into the weeds of senate procedure and the current reform rules on the table, i would like to put forth the proposition that the filibuster itself is a ridiculous thing that we shouldn't have and that if we -- we have come to see it as normal and it's become normalized because it's existed for a while, there's something to say about tradition, but if we had this stipulation in any other area of democratic governance, we would blanch. for instance, if egypt says you can only be elected president of egypt with 60% of the vote or if we said here in the united states, you can only be elected president with 60% of the vote, imagine the absolute chaos that would throw american democratic processes into. as the man who wrote the book literally, defending the filibuster, make the case why we should have this institution at all. >> first off, will et me observe that we do elect presidents with
less than 50% majority, even presidents who didn't get the most votes. the filibuster isn't the only odd role we have. >> i agree. i'm going after them one by one. >> the long history of the senate more than 200 years filibuster has been around for a good deal of that. the role that the senate has played historically in our system is it's the last place where minority rights are protected. and the twin pillars, the foundation of what makes the senate a unique body is unlimited debate and unfeterred amendment. in the house of representatives, debate is limited, often debates are not permitted at all. in the senate the minority gets to speak, the minority gets to offer its amendments.
and these -- >> the filibuster you're saying is the guarantor of that? >> absolutely. absolutely. it's that super majority requirement to overcome a filibuster that requires the majority in the senate to deal with the minority each and every day. >> it's a question of debate. what the filibuster means is that in the senate there's no general limitation of debate. it's that one aspect of senate procedure which is deep in the dna of senate procedure. questions are debatable. if questions are debatable, there is no general majority compulsion and the minority has if not rights, certainly privileges and historically for more than 200 years the minority has utilized those privileges in something of an inherent implicit contract with the majority. the majority says you may do this and minority has gone about doing this over the years whether it's a democratic or republican minority with some sense of restraint and some sense of comedy. >> right. >> so the majority says you may
prevent anything from occurring and the minority -- >> but you're not going to do that because we all have to show up here to work the next day. >> generally speaking historically minorities have exercised that with some restraint. >> so as a texan, as a democratic texan i'm hyper sensitive to the protection of minority rights. we haven't elected a democrat statewide office in 20 years. in the house there is a super majority of republicans. in the senate we were two -- the republicans were two votes shy of a 2/3 majority and in the texas senate you have to have a 2/3 majority to bring something to the floor. that's something we cling on to. at the national level, it's different. chris, i know you want to get rid of the filibuster. you're done with it. i think there's moderation. i think in changing the rules you have to be present to filibuster. >> we're going to talk about what the actual formal proposal,
no one except for your humble tv host is proposing scrapping it. i want to push back on one point and then, akil, i'll get your thoughts. i think it's important to distinguish between talking about the minority rights in the context of, say, due process and civil rights, etc. there are rights that protect individual human beings who are maybe on the wrong side of a ma juror taryn democracy but that's very different than the minority party in the legislative body. i don't think they have to get some sort of special protections. >> they are our voice. they are the voice of the individual. >> that's what elections are for. that's what elections are for. >> and, likewise, when we talk about majority rule, we're not necessarily talking about the control by the majority party. >> right. >> it's the same principle on the other side.
>> explain that. what do you mean? >> well, when we talk about the majority, for example, controlling the house of representatives, what we're talking about is the majority party. we're talking about them controlling it quite thoroughly. as long as he can keep his caucus lined up behind him, he can do essentially what he wants. we see, by the way, what happens, you mentioned the texas legislature. we see this in state legislatures in a lot of states across the country where both houses and governor belong to the same party. what did the senators when republicans went after collective bargaining in wisconsin, what did the state senators do? >> they went out to get a quorum. >> what would u.s. senators do, get on a barge outside of the territorial waters? >> the other thing is scott walker won that election.
you should use every procedural mechanism to fight policies that are bad. i support it, if it's in the rules, fine. scott walker won that, he won recall. akil, where's the constitution on this? >> the constitution is in favor of majority rule. the filibuster is not deep in the dna of the senate. in the entire period before the civil war name me one time when any major bill was prevented from being voted upon at the end of the day by the minority. there is not one. thomasever actually said majority rule is the basic rule. the compromise of 1850 when the senate got a bare majority of free states, when california came in without an offsetting slave state, that made all the difference because here's the balance between majority rule and minority right. minorities should be able to speak, they should be able to make amendments and heard courteously, and then we should
take a vote. >> james madison very quickly, this is federalist 58. the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed he said if you had the sort of super majority threshold. it would be no longer the majority would rule and it would be transferred to the minority. they might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices or to distort unreasonable indulgences. who could have ever seen this. >> if you look at the federalist 63 and federalist 65. >> but i like this one. >> with due respect, you do not because none of the fell ralist papers champion a super majority rule for the senate and the senate does not have a super majority rule for most of its history. >> the constitution did contemplate places where there should be super majorities. >> there are five of them. it's simple majority rule. that's how the supreme court operates, that's how the house operates, that's how the senate
in fact operated. >> hold your thought on responding. we're going to bring in one of the senators who is pioneering and he's been one of the most vocal advocates of reforming the filibuster, not scrapping it. we're talking about how the filibuster has developed, why it needs reform and the best way to reform it right after this break. more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. buy now. save later.
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this senator will not allow that bill to come for a vote. if i have to stay on the floor all night and all day tomorrow and do whatever i have to, i am prepared to do it. >> i thought that i would end this about 8:00, but i'm feeling a little better and i've got great kidneys and i've got some of these loss seng gers here. >> i'll be doggone if i'm going to allow any other legislation
go through ♪ ♪ right down on the border the mexico way ♪ >> the new york senator, alphonse demat tow filibuster in 1992 over an extremely obscure provision of tax law that he thought was going to screw over new yorkers. rich, you wanted to reresponsibility quickly before i go to the senator. >> yes. i wanted to say i'm not a professor of constitutional law, but i can read the plain language of section 5 which says that the senate gets to write its own rules, and rules about debate, the length of debate are well within that constitutional competence of the senate. >> sure. and it gets to majority rule, by majority rule. this document. >> that brings us to the constitutional option which is to say at the beginning of a senate they adopt the rules and they can by a majority of rules. i want to bring in jeff merkley.
senator, good morning. you are not trying to scrap the filibuster. tell me what your goal is in the reforms that you have proposed. >> yes. we're trying to make the filibuster actually work the way it was intended. that is, that folks have to make their case known before their colleagues, before the american public. that they can't simply obstruct, use a filibuster, the silent filibuster we have now to obstruct bills and kill bills in the middle of the night. so clearing the path to the floor enhances debate. getting things to conference committee certainly doesn't subtract from debate and moves the process forward. the talking filibuster says that if you're going to obstruct or say there should be more debate, you have to make your case and the public can weigh in on whether you're a hero or a bum. >> if a cable news viewer has woken up early and they're saying, why am i watching these people talk about how they're going to run their meetings?
what are the substantive takes for citizens in what can appear to be an arcane debate? >> it has to do with this. we have huge issues facing america. many folks are talking about the fiscal cliff and if we can't have dialogue and decision making in the u.s. senate, then our government is unable to respond to the big issues that we face. and i can tell you my perspective comes from having gone first to the u.s. senate when i was 19. it was 1976 and i covered the tax act of that year and i saw amendment after amendment, brought up, debated, decided. that's the way the senate generally work. the senate is completely different today. it's paralyzed and broken in a way no one could have envisioned a couple of decades ago. >> i want to show some data on that point. culture motions have skyrocketed. percent of judicial nominees confirmed by the president for barack obama is 42.8%.
you see there in the 90s and 80s and then they go down dramatically. and to give you a sense of how things have changed historically, this is an important historical document. we all know when we cover politics, they're counting votes. they only have 58 votes in the senate. not going to happen. this is from 1964 and this is a note from president lyndon johnson's senate liaison mike manatos and he is writing to johnson's campaign director. are we going to get medicaid passed. of the 49 votes cast on behalf of medicare, we lost two supporters. we also had three supporters who missed the vote this year. thus, if all of our supporters are present and voting, we would win by a vote of 55-45. in 1964 you have a note that says a bill about mehdi care
will be filibustered. you said that the way that this works is only if the minority exercises restraint. do you think that restraint has been lost? >> it seems to have eroded. i do want to correct something that you said earlier about the senate adopting its rules. the senate does not adopt its rules. it's continuous. the senate does not need to and in fact does not adopt its rules every year. the senate has litigated whether it is a continuing body and they have decided it is, in fact, a continuing body. you said medicare was able to pass with less than 60 votes. the seb nate has functioned for over 200 years with unlimited debate. it has managed to do that. the contract between majority and minority has been sound for over 200 years. >> then what's changed? >> possibly the fact that there is 24/7 news cycles.
what's changed is in the province of the political scientists, it's not in the province of we the parliamentarian. >> wait a second. i want to press you on this. you have seen what has happened. i want you to tell me, is it correct that the norms of what gets filibusters have changed over your time in the senate? >> it does appear that the norms have changed, yes, but there is an underlying principle of empowering the minority of restraining the majority that i do believe is consistent with the framers' intent that has worked. it's worked through the civil war, it's worked through the civil rights era. it has worked. and i think it's an extremely important institutional political imperative that the minority has the ability to have input. >> senator -- >> meaningful input. >> senator, i want to get your response to that and ask you if you are preserving that principle.
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senator jeff merkley, you've heard some articulations of the hallowed principles that the filibuster guarantees. how much are you thinking about preserving those principles and what specifically are you saying you're going to reform about the way it works? >> yes. everything that we're proposing enhances the role of the filibuster in presenting debate to the american people and views of colleagues to the rest of the body. and, indeed, specifically first that you can't filibuster a motion to get a bill to the floor. that's like saying we're going to enhance debate by blocking debate. it's illogical. >> it's filibustering before the debate starts. >> yes. >> i want to start in with our esteemed panel of members here. are you on board? >> i am. >> we have two votes even from the filibuster people here from getting rid of the filibuster to proceed. >> vicky.
>> we have unanimity at the table. what else? >> second is to take away the filibuster in getting a bill to conference committee because, quite frankly, at that point both houses have passed a bill. you should get to negotiations as quickly as possible. >> let me explain this. let's say -- now we're going to do a little "schoolhouse rock" how a bill becomes law. you've passed a bill through the house, you have a bill through the senate. you have two bills that are inevitably a little bit different. the point is you've already gotten it through the houses. you shouldn't have to overcome a filibuster just to move it from that point in the process to the conference committee. do you guys agree with that? >> yes. and it's important to note that you still can filibuster the conference report when it comes back. >> right. the senate has to pass it again. >> the substance. >> we're with senator merkley. there are three separate motions. there's no justification for them to be debated. >> we have some consensus about these two. the third one i think is the
biggest one, right, senator? >> yes. the third is a talking filibuster. this is the idea i started putting out 2 1/2 years ago of saying people keep coming to us and saying, why don't you get something done? you're the ma joert. we say because republicans are filly bustering. folks say, no, they're not. we never see them. we tune into cspan and see a quorum call. mitch mcconnell has orchestrated a strategy of killing bills in the middle of the night. we no longer have the culture, social contract that if you're going to object to a simple majority, you'll come to the floor and make your views known before your colleagues and the united states. and quite frankly, all we're saying here is that if you don't have the courage of your convictions to debate the issue after you vote for more debate, then we should get on with the majority vote. >> my sense, akhil, is you're in favor of this debate. >> all of these. if these changes are adopted by simple 51 vote margin, i think a
precedent will be established that the rules can be changed by 51 votes and if, indeed, the senate is a continuing body, i actually think there's a very strong case that it is, this means if we need to go back for round 2 or round 3 of filibuster reform not on day one, we may and we should and we will need to, i predict. >> i mean, rich, bingo. that's the crux here. you keep discovering that we don't have a lot of disagreement about the bad behavior we're seeing in the senate right now, the abuse of the filibuster rule. the question is do we believe that it's worth protecting, and certainly we do. >> and i think senator merkley does as well. >> yes. well, all of the reformers, i don't know any member of the senate who's saying they want to do away with the filibuster. here's where the problem is and
here's where ultimately i'll wind up disagreeing with the senator, and that is when you use the constitutional option, which as the distinguished former parliamentarian said is, you know, it's not in the rules. it's not in the precedent. >> it's in this. >> it's not in the constitution. >> it is in the constitution as a constitutional scholar. >> with all due respect, i don't believe it's here. >> checks and balances, all sorts of things are here. >> in order to do that, what it will require is for the vice president, the presiding officer in january, to rule that it only requires 51 votes. >> right. >> that means that he will have to ignore the rules of the senate. he'll have to ignore the precedence of the senate and he'll have to tell the current parliamentarian of the senate sitting below him on the deus who normally swivels around and gives advice to the presiding
officer, which is almost always followed, he will have to tell her swivel back around because i'm going to ignore what you're telling me and i'm going to rule this way. and then -- one more point. and then if senator reid has 51 votes to support that ruling, then he can establish the precedent and exactly what you're saying is the advantage to that is where i see the danger. that is that it's a dlip ri slope. the reformers say that they don't want to do away with the filibuster, but that's the inevitable outcome of establishing the precedent that the majority -- >> understood. i want to get your thoughts on this, senator i want to get your thoughts. vicky, i'd like you to weigh in after this break. g the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ]
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these whacko things, i say give them rope, a lot of rope, and then the american people will find out and we'll have a real election the next time around. >> i just want to interject here for a moment to say that the stakes here, again, it's procedure, but the stakes are basically as high as it gets. the stakes are about what are the norms that govern democratic governance. i think the history of democratic governance is that rules are important but norms are even more important. when those norms degrade you begin to get degradation of the democratic process. i think we are viewing a kind of degradation of the norms, right? this kind of disintegration in the way the body operates, and i think that there's a way to address that. >> majority compulsion will change the senate forever. >> and by that you mean if they do the thing in which 51 senators are -- change the rules, you're saying that precedent will change it forever? >> first of all, technically it only takes a majority to change the rules. >> that's important. can you resay that? can you say that again?
>> a vote on an amendment to change the rules is a simple majority. the issue is ending debate on that question and there you do get into the filibuster. >> right. >> and unlimited debate. the very nature of the senate as it's operated for two centuries is premised on the fact that debate is unlimited and that there is no general mode of majority compulsion. that contract has worked for 200 years. >> by the way, you keep saying the senate for two centuries. i'm not sure the senate has a great two century record. just so we're clear here. >> wait. senator, i want to get your response to that. >> yes. there's two separate questions. the first is should everyone be able to make their case on the floor, and i think all of us who are arguing for these reforms are saying yes. and, in fact, the reforms will help make that happen. the second question is can 51 change the rules? it hasn't been mentioned here that that pandora's box has been opened several times in our history.
the argument that it's a slippery slope, as if it's never been done, is simply wrong. the senate voted three times to support the notion that 51 could change the rules in 1975. that's what led to a huge debate that resulted in the compromise that reduced the number required for a filibuster from 67 to 60. and so -- and in terms of a continuous body, you -- we must realize that it's only the rules we're talking about. committee chairmanships and assignments are redone, bills die at the end of a two-year period. the senate isn't continuous in any way except this contrived argument about the rules and three vice presidents have made the ruling that in fact 51 can change the rules. so there is precedent for saying that if the rules are off track, 51 can put them back on track. >> in 1975 the senate reversed its procedural decision. the substantive goal was achieved. the reformers did get an amendment to the clouture rule
limiting it to 2/3 to 3/5. so from 67 possibly -- >> they reduced it. they reduced the filibuster threshold because it was being abused. >> right. >> there was a victory there based on the, quote, unquote, constitutional option going right up to the precipice and the senate procedurally having succeeded in having these rules amended procedurally backed away and said, no, this is not a procedural question. >> the point is what underlies all of this discussion of rules is there is no other logic but majority logic at the end of the day there can be nothing other than majority logic that ultimately decides what is happening in that body. >> because norms have changed. >> right. >> we keep coming back to that. the reason we see all of this dysfunction is because folks aren't talking to each other anymore, they're not getting along. one point as a political scientist that i like to focus on is the electoral connection. i'm a big proponent of
independent redistricting even though that doesn't affect the senate, it's something that happens at the very local level and then migrates up to the federal level. >> in terms of this culture of essentially polarization? >> exactly. polarization. i'm also a fan of nonpartisan primaries. there are some unintended consequences to that. we see at every level we become more and more entrenched in our partisan presence preferences. we've seen it in other issues. the senate has become dysfunctional. >> if you take away the minority of the senate to -- >> that's the point she's making. you made the point that basically we should look at the abuse of the filibuster as a symptom of the deeper problem which is this polarization. >> right. >> i actually disagree. i think when rules and norms get mismatched you have to change the rules. i want to thank senator jeff merkley, and akhil amar and al
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get a droid incredible 4g lte by htc for $49.99. there is now an offer on the table from president obama to republicans to avoid what we're calling on the show the fiscal curb. despite being the only plan on the table, the plan was instantly said as not serious. >> that offer yesterday was simply not serious. >> i mean, it's -- it's -- it was not a serious proposal and so right now we're almost nowhere. >> the white house plan would proceed in two stages. the first would include $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue through an increase in the top two marginal tax rates in addition to capital gains and dividends increases. around 600 billion in deduction limits in the wealthy. also includes $50 billion in new stimulus funds, extension of
unemployment programs and interest refinance. it will end congress's ability to stop the debt limit. the second phase would come $350 billion in reforms to what we call on the show social insurance. this is the least specific part of the proposal, making clear to republicans that if they want cuts to social insurance, they are going to have to propose them. yesterday's speaker john boehner once again refused to outline any specific cuts when asked about what cuts republicans want in social insurance. >> look at our budget from the last two years and there are plenty of specific proposals, most of which were part of the conversation that the president and i had two years ago or a year and a half ago. there have been discussions about many of those same issues this time. so there's a lot from the conversations that we've had to inform almost anybody the kind of proposals that we're looking
for. >> joining us now is sam seder and don peebles. >> great to be here. >> so there's the proposal on the table which i think is pretty good, and i just want to talk about the political dynamics here. they're kind of hilarious to me. sam, what is your reaction to the reaction from -- of republicans to this proposal? >> it's pretty funny. they are really in a tough position now because the president is playing a different game than he's been playing in the past. he's basically saying to the republicans, if you want to cut medicare, if you want to propose any cuts to social insurance programs, let's hear it. >> right. >> and the republicans don't want to do that. they have had success in the past on running against democrats when democrats make the cuts that republicans want them to make. they were successful on that in
2010. they tried to do it in 2012 with less success and now it's not on the table. i don't have a sense of necessarily what's going on in the white house, but it seems to be more of an agenda that is more aligned with congressional democrats. they're the ones that want to run in two years. they don't want to run on having cut medicare. they're basically saying to republicans, if this is what you want, bring it. >> i think the politics of this are fascinating because it was so -- we just had a whole election in which one of the main themes of the election was each party's candidate saying that the other party's candidate was the guy who really wanted to take the hatchet to medicare or had already taken the hatchet to medicare. this was intensely litigated. then we had the election and then we all come together for fiscal curb negotiations. the other one is saying do you want to be the one to tell them we're going to take the hatchet to medicare? >> i think what you see is the president advancing his agenda, what he articulated in the campaign, which is fighting for middle class tax cuts.
he's now saying instead of being the balanced president that we saw in the first term, he's now saying, okay, here's our agenda. now republicans your agenda is spending cuts. propose them. let's see what they are. that's, you know, i think the right approach for the president in the short term politically. ultimately what happens is the republicans are going to be reluctant to propose cuts. that brings us more likely or closer to this fiscal cliff which i think is more of a mole hill than a mountain. but i think that that's where we may end up. i think we may see some more drama as a result of that. >> reluctant to raise taxes, but i'm cautiously optimistic that i'm seeing people pull away from grover norquist and hold onto the mantle of reagan and he raised taxes. corker saying i'm not beholden to grover nor quest and i'm beholden to my constituency. i see some movement. the cutting of programs is going
to be a different story. >> i don't think anybody wants to cut programs. republicans don't because they're now in what they consider the rebuilding mode, but the challenge is going to be that there are democrats -- if you take a look at some of these tax issues, estate taxes, the president is not going to have unified support from the house on that issue because he's going to lose most likely the congressional black caucus, he'll lose representatives of farming states because it's going to decimate -- >> it is not going to decimate. that is an absolutely dick cue louse overstatement. >> let's look at it this way. look at it from african-american's perspective. hundreds of years of oppression. finally there's an opportunity to go and compete in a balanced way in this economy today but there's a head start. and so -- of generational transferring of wealth. finally with equality that's taking place since the civil rights movement you have more
alignment of wealth. now it's becoming 55 -- >> you're talking about such an infinitesimally small number of people. we could fit all of those people in this room. >> you're talking about african-americans in the united states that are subject to the he state tax? >> i'm not arguing the actual merits of the issue, i'm telling you the politics of it. the congressional black caucus voted with george bush. >> i know they did. >> we're going to talk about the politics of it. >> they are. >> if we're going to talk about the politics of it, let's be explicit. we're talking about multi-millionaires. we're not talking about african-american population. >> we're talking about job generators. >> we are talking about multi-millionaires, people who have over $10 million, $5 million as an individual to pass on to their children and don't want to be taxed on every dollar of that amount. we're not talking about african-americans, we're not talking about any other subgroup. >> we're talking about the politics --
>> yes, but the politics are -- >> the politics are -- >> who's giving money to those politicians. >> no. no. no. >> we're talking about .02% of the population. >> george bush, and that's why you saw a dramatic cut in estate taxes. i'm telling you that the political dynamics -- >> oh, yes. >> you want to argue the point. we can argue the point on the filibuster rule and what the merits of that are. >> no, but the point here -- >> there is no reality. political reality, what's going to happen later on next month? what's going to happen. >> the argument you're making is that the president cannot get the votes he needs for the revenue he's proposing? >> i think that's he going to have some drama and there's going to be some disagreement within the democratic caucus and one of them is going to be estate taxes because that is one of the major points of the tax increases. >> that may be true. >> these are wealthy people that are behind the push to repeal taxes. politics, it may be the case that he has to give that up
because of the power of money trumps these other things, but that's the politics. >> the last time around the swing was the congressional black caucus and that's what took the democrats -- it's a democratic issue. >> hold on. the only place you'll have internal caucus dissent is if this proceeds in a way -- right now there's $350 billion in cuts to medicare that are on the table. that's the sort of initial offer. i want to talk about the politics of that very, very politically dangerous topic right after this. than over-the-counter remedies.
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just two aleve can keep pain away all day. restore revive rejuvenate rebuild rebuild rebuild there's the tax side of this. i think we're seeing some erosion on that. we're going to dive deeper into the taxes tomorrow. but then there's the cut side, okay? the see quester is in place. it's going to be 1.2 trillion in cuts and the idea is to replace that with other cuts. the cuts that have been agreed to are such a blunt instrument. okay. i want to focus on the medicare portion because i have to say
the consensus right now in washington, and i was cheered to see the president's opening bid, but the consensus in washington is that we have to come up with a grand bargain, dot dot dot we have to do something with entitlements. this is the big thing. something about entitlements. i just don't understand why that's the case. the reason i don't understand why that's the case is the big problem is the rate of growth of health care costs. i think we can all agree on that, right? >> yes. >> now medicare -- the rate of growth in medicare is significantly lower than the rate of growth of health care costs in the private sector. it's doing a better job of controlling cost relative to the private sector. then we just passed a huge bill that was incredibly contentious, which is called the affordable care act. the vast majority of the legislative language of which is about controlling costs in health care over the future. so it seems to me like the reasonable thing to do is to wait four years, five years, implement the bill and see if
the cost control measures that have been put it in place, fought about tooth and nail, hugely, hugely controversial, whether they work. we can sit at this table five years from now. i don't understand why this isn't the opening position of democrats. as someone who is on the hill, shouldn't that be the opening position? >> well, yes. >> thank you. well said. >> yeah. i -- i want to back it up for just a minute if i could and go back to where we started with talking about the -- what the president's put on the table. i think what we're looking at here now is the president has been re-elected. he's newly empowered. the republican minority has been saying for several weeks now, why won't the president stand up and lead? buy needed president to lead.
well, he stood up. he's put this on the table and what do they say now? basically they say tell us how you're going to compromise before we engage with you which unfortunately -- >> dating back to your original question, it's the same as to why we're debating maintaining historically low estate taxes. it's money. there is absolutely no reason in terms of the budget to be even talking about social security and in terms of metd care, it's the exact same thing. i'm sure there are cuts we can make particularly when it comes to pharmaceuticals. there's a lot of savings there. we have the prescription d, the medicare d where we are not negotiating for volume discounts
with pharmaceutical industries. same things in other parts of medicare. so there he is a lot of savings there. close to 300 billion i think in terms of over ten years. the real bottom line is those people who want to attack social security want this money to end up in wall street. >> there's an extremely well funded group of people. we'll talk about some of the interest behind that right after we take a break. you? yep. the longer you stay with us, the more you save. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today.
to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. here with richard arenberg. sam seder. don peebles and victoria did he francesco soto. we're talking about the fiscal curb. it can feel like a ground hog
day enterprise covering these negotiations but there was genuine, really significant news. there's an offer on the table. it's an offer on the table that's quite strong from the perspective of where its relative balance is towards the president's priorities as opposed to the house republican caucus's priorities. far more in name specific taxes versus the cuts. the bargaining position, rich, is here we're going to say what taxes we want to increase. you now name the cuts. i want to show some polling. one of the weirdest dynamics is where the republican dine nam mimp is and where the belt way cutting is about the entitlements that need to be fixed. you will read in the wonk world and we'll read in politico, people are floating the idea of raising the retirement age on medicare. republicans are saying it's not enough to whittle around the edges, we need changes in the
eligibility. that's the red line. now go ask the american people who have just been through an election, how do you feel about raising the retirement age on medicare, this is what they tell you, 71% of democrats oppose, 68% of republicans opposed and 62% of independent oppose. it's very hard to find a less popular, you know, proposal than this and yet this is at the mind and the margins at the center of the conversation when people start talking about a grand bargain. sam, you were elucidating a kind of argument for why that was when we went to break. >> yeah. i think it's the establishment in this country, whether it's the political or the -- frankly the media establishment in this country. >> the worst. >> they simply do not -- they simply do not -- they don't have the sensitivity towards it. when you're talking about raising that you're talking about privatizing it. the costs aren't going away. >> for those two years. >> right. instead of support for our seniors, we're going to force
the seniors, who in many cases may not be able to afford it, or their kids to pay for it. so this idea that somehow this is -- you know, we're burdening our grandkids by not cutting medicare, that's ridiculous. >> right. >> those grandkids are going to pay for it. they're actually going to pay more in the private insurance industry than they would in medicare. >> when they get old enough. >> i'm talking about those grandkids literally. they're going to be paying for their grandparents or their parents to get health insurance in those ages if you raise it. so the savings is not going to -- it's simply going to -- we're going to push it on to individuals. we're going to push it onto the other generations and we're going to make it cost more because we know medicare controls costs more and is delivered more efficiently. >> i agree with him because the next step of that, of course, is that the kids and the grandkids will be burdened with it. that's a greater drain on the economy. it takes their money and spending power out of the economy, puts it into health care. however, though, i do think
there should be some further adjustments on eligibility. i do not believe that i should be able to get the same kind of benefits as, say, you know, a retired school teacher. i should have to pay a greater co pay. the threshold before i got any benefits should be there. also, my children, hopefully, if they are successful, i think we have a responsibility to take care of our parents too if we can. the government needs to be helping people who can't help themselves, that are going to have difficulty doing that. >> i'm glad you made this argument because this is the argument that you hear pete peterson make who's funding a lot of the groups who are talking about attacking the debtor the deficit and you hear mitch mcconnell and you hear some republicans and democrats make it. well, look, progressives, you care about redistribution and you care about all of these things, equality, that's good. why have these universal benefits when we don't have
enough money, why have universal benefits for people who don't have the money? >> indexing it. >> indexing it. making it an adjusted kind of thing. >> makes sense. >> why not? >> first off, medicare is already means tested. >> yes. right. >> you already do have some measurement. if you want to means test it more, there's a very efficient way of doing it, a far more efficient way than to have a new bureaucracy that's going to determine what your net worth is and that's called taxation. we take it from you on the front end. that's what we should be doing with the social security. we should be obliterating the cap. >> explain what that means. >> the first $110,000 of social security wages are taxed at about 6% for the employee and 6% for the employer, little bit more, 6.5%, and traditionally we have taken in through the social security system 90% of the nation's income. we're now 81% because of income inequality. if we take off that cap we have complete solvency in social
security, not just 20 years out but until my kid has a kid who's looking towards social security and we can do the same thing with medicare. >> your kid is 40 years old though we should say. >> just so everyone knows. >> i have a 7-year-old. to the eye can see. we can do the same thing with medicare. if you're really concerned about means testing, there's an easy way. >> that's interesting. your point is don't do it on the benefits side. make sure you're taxing -- >> have people put more money into the system. >> i agree. i mean, i think that, you know, the cap is -- you know, it creates this regressive pattern and i think it's a long-term -- it's the long-term solution on social security, but i don't think social security needs to be on the table. >> yeah. it doesn't seem like it can. i think we all agree that -- >> i think medicare is being
discussed. >> same dynamic. >> i don't think that we can ask the american people, especially job generators at the top end be, to pay more. >> you're saying you want job generators to pay more for their health care. >> give it to you in the front end and trust you to spend it well now. >> i trust the government to spend things as well as anybody else, frankly, and so -- >> that's a frightening thought there. wait a second though. when we're talking about this, we should just be very clear, right, about how this actually all works. social security and medicare have dedicated tax revenue streams, right? >> right. >> that comes from the general fund. >> some of it comes from the general fund, there's income taxes and other taxes in the tax code and payroll taxes that create this distinct funding mechanism. >> and some of the money in the general fund comes from the social security trust fund. >> that's right. >> i wanted to get more to the political aspect of it. so maybe popularly people don't
want to see 34ed kade -- i'm sorry, medicare touched but the belt way folks, the folks that are going to be voting on this do want to see that. >> yes, would he do. >> what are we going to bring to the table? are we just going to say we're not going to bargain with you? i mean, at what level do we allow for, say, means testing? we may not like it, but that's what it's going to allow. >> means testing, we can do means testing. if you want to do means testing, there's a very efficient way of doing it. we will raise your taxes on -- >> if you have more money. >> the grand bargain. >> the reality is that's not going to happen. >> wait a second. >> that's not going to happen. we can talk about -- look, we can talk about -- >> the reason why that's not going to happen -- >> and cut defense spending 20% and put that into the general fund as well and we would be able to reduce -- hold everybody's taxes. that's an action that's never going to take place. what she said is very valid. the fact is that there's going
to have to be some give and take. however, the president has played a very powerful hand by saying, okay, tell us what you wants. >> on the give and take -- >> there's a reason why we can sit here and say it's never going to happen. it will never happen until people acknowledge the reality of the situation from a policy standpoint. you can say that the republicans are never going to allow for a more efficient way of means testing which is to raise taxes -- >> that's your opinion. >> no. no. no. >> that's not -- the -- you're not even going to get democrats to buy into that. >> you're talking politically. >> isn't that reality? >> in reality -- >> the fantasy -- >> in reality if you join me in acknowledging the reality that the most efficient way of means testing medicare would be to raise medicare taxes now, that's a reality. whether or not that's going to happen is another issue. >> not necessarily because -- not necessarily. wait. hold on a second. think about it this way.
we just had -- we came off in the early to mid 2000s the biggest boon in the nation's history. then we went to the second biggest recession. imagine that concept that you just talked about where these people have paid into it and now they're in a different income position. that doesn't make sense. any kind of means test should be done at the time of consumption. for example, if i can afford to pay my health care i should pay for it. >> if we really care about the dpef city -- deficit and debt issues. >> the key thing which is my mantra is that no one cares about the deficit and debt. >> no. that's a given. >> well said. >> they don't talk about it. it's the word they give to the stuff they really care about. richard arenberg, sam seder, don pooebls and msnbc contributor victoria did he francesco soto,
♪ ♪ all right. this week president obama signed the whistle-blower protection act, a genuinely landmark piece of legislation that both expands and restores a number of protections for whistle blowers. the bill, which has been fought for by whistle-blower rights organizations for over a decade passed both houses of congress by unanimous consent and was signed on tuesday. it was left relatively untrumpeted by the white house. up until now the obama administration's record on whistle blowers has been problematic. as they highlighted in an august document defending the administration's record on leaks, they have prosecuted twice as many cases under be the
espionage act as all other administrations combined. the obama administration's history of aggressively prosecuting leakers has dissturkd lawmakers and activists from the left and right because of the essential role of whistle blowers in rooting out malfeasance. barack obama has managed to both prosecute a record number of leakers and sign genuine concrete legislation to protect whistle blowers. now who deserves whistle-blower protections is up for debate and the meaning for that as well. no case illustrates that more acutely than bradley manning. the army private who is accused of leaking classified documents to wikileaks. he testified about his detention over the past two years. joining me is daniel brian, a.l. press. author of "beautiful souls,
saying no." ." ed pilkington. he's been covering the trial and zachary iskole. he's a former marine. great to have all of you here. let's start with the manning cause base -- case because i think it's the hardest case, the place where the rubber hits the road most intensely about how we feel about this cluster of issues. you just got back from covering the case. what happened this week? we heard from bradley manning for the first time in two years, is that right? >> yes. we heard from him verbally for the first time in two years. he was called by the defense in a defense motion which is trying to get all the charges against him, 22 counts, thrown out, on the grounds that he was subjected to pretrial punishment. so whatever you think about him as a whistle-blower, whatever you think about what he did, this woke was not about that.
it was about should he have been treated as he was during the nine months he was at quantico which is a marine base in virginia. we heard this extraordinary narrative from him and his lawyer about the things that happened to him in his 8 by 6 cell and they drew the cell. it was a theatrical moment. >> what was the treatment like? i was reading through some of it and reading through the testimony. it's pretty hair would heing stuff. i mean, it's really hard to think about the justification for it if i might say so. >> yeah. hair would heing. so many harrowing details. i can think for the coming hour which we won't. i'll give you two. he talked about how for several weeks even into months he was given 20 minutes of sunshine call. now sunshine calls are fantastic. there are so many euphemisms and paradoxes. sunshine call is when you're taken out of your cell. for him that meant he was in
full restraint. he had handcuffs on his hands and stopped around his waist. his hands were essentially tied to his bellybutton and he had a chain around his legs. he had to be held by a guard as he was taken out of his cell. the rest of the facility was in lockdown. he saw no one else. he was taken to an exercise yard for 20 minutes. he had 23 hours and 640 minutes in his cell. >> that was an 8 by 6 cell. >> he loves the sunshine, hates the winter. so he was asked about what natural light he had in his cell. he said if he length his head and looked through the crack he could see down the corridor a reflection of the window. then there was sunlight in the hall coming down. if he looked at a different angle he could see the reflection of the reflection of the sunlight. that's the kind of things that
you heard which were very, very moving i thought. just pure human level. nothing political, nothing whistle-blower. it went on for nine months. >> i was struck by this other detail about there was no toilet paper in the cell so when he used the toilet that was in the cell he would have to call out and request toilet paper which seemed like an incredibly humiliating ritual to go through. zach, i guess i want to get your thoughts, your reaction to hearing about this as someone who himself was -- voluntarily became subject to the uniform military code of justice. when you sign up you put yourself under a different legal regime. you go in eyes wide open about what that legal regime. what your response is hearing about the bradley manning ordeal, first of all. we'll get to what he did or what he's alleged to have done, although it seems like he's essentially admitting to it now. this aspect, i'm curious about what your reaction is. >> my initial reaction is that i was not there and i think in
terms of his time in the brigg, essentially, i think the one thing i took away from my military experience is that i am very hesitant to judge people for actions they take when i'm not there. i wasn't one of his jailers. i'm not in the command. i've never spent time in a brigg. i've visited a brigg. are there extenuating circumstances? >> they argue there was. >> suicide watch. that's another interesting point. what kind of conversation would we be having had he committed suicide? >> right. >> would we be having a different conversation? >> yes, we would. >> i wanted to leap in there. yes, that's what they're saying. we heard from psychiatrists this week who gave important evidence. they were the people who treated them. they were the psychiatrists. they had the training. they said within about two weeks of him arriving at quantico they said he was no threat to himself
or anyone else and they recommended he be taken fully off any suicide watch. >> this i think tees up a provocative question which gets us to what bradley manning is a lenled to have done and the way the state reacts to this. this treatment is not an accident but this is pretrial punishment for having committed this or having allegedly committed this sin. i'm curious to hear you guys weigh in on that and talkn mann this. what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
i have obligations. cute tobligations, but obligations.g. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. danielle, i'd like to hear your thoughts on the manning case because like i was saying before we went to break, i think the people that are supportive of bradley manning draw on an argument that his treatment is not a contingent accident. it's an expression of the contempt that the national security state holds for people that violate its inviolable principles. i wonder if that's a compelling
story for you? >> yes, it is. i think i'm less hesitant than zachary to condemn the treatment which seems entirely excessive to me. it comes in the context of as you laid out in the beginning, that we have six espionage act prosecutions for leaks, unprecedented historically, twice the number in all -- under all previous administrations combined spanning cases like thomas drake where there's very little debate that drake was a whistle-blower. i think the debate about manning, at least as i've heard it, including from whistle-blower advocates, is about the method, the sort of -- the release of a massive number of documents all at once. >> yes. >> that presumably he didn't sift through and read and i think -- >> i think there's no way -- >> there's no way. >> there's no way logistically he would have.
>> in my mind, the first question is what were the motivations. was he trying to expose public mall fees sanctientencese -- ma. i think a general concern for what was happening in these wars and what americans weren't being told was being done in their name. the debate comes to the question of is that the right way to do it? is that the most effective way to do it? would he have been better off going to a place like -- >> also is it defensible? >> is it defensible. >> right. >> and if you really believe that certain things need to be known, would you be better off going to a whistle-blower advocacy group saying, here's what i think is happening. what should i release? >> yeah. do you think bradley manning is a whistle-blower? >> chris, that's such a hard -- i -- well, first of all, the
first question you've asked is no one should be treated the way he's been treated. so i think whether he's a whistle-blower or not, it's a sign of what i see as almost a near hysteria. >> let me say one thing that's clear for the historical record, the treatment was for nine months. there was a decision made that that treatment had to stop? he's in very different conditions since moving. >> it's part of a context, right. we're seeing that happen. we're seeing the prosecutions. all of this, actually, is i think derivative of what happened with wikileaks. the administration and the congress freaked out when this happened. we're seeing not just the prosecutions, but we're seeing antileak memos coming down from panetta warning everyone who has a clearance, you need to remember we are going to use the full extent of the law if you leak any classified information anywhere. all of this is happening in the context of -- the whistle-blower enhancement protection that you referenced was poised to pass two years ago with protections
for intell agency employees. wikileaks happens. >> everyone ran away from it. >> they thought, i'm not going to pass a law that will protect someone like bradley. it was never going to protect the release of classified information but even the concept did it in. >> yeah. there's two very different things going on here. one, you mentioned thomas drake who to me is somebody -- this is a guy, thomas drake, who went through the proper channels. >> yeah. did everything he could possibly do. >> did everything he possibly could to reveal these inconsistencies in contracting. >> wastes of money? >> wastes of money. >> yeah. that's very different than bradley manning. when i was in the marine corps i had a translator in iraq i became very close to. eventually he and his family were threatened. i tried to get him to the
states. i got asked to testify before the u.s. senate and i went through the proper channels. my chain of command largely, for the most part, they were very supportive of what i was doing. they recognized it was the right thing. that, to me, is my biggest issue, is he going to do that? >> let me put the calendar point. i think the bradley manning case is difficult in terms of what he did. let me make the point which is here is a guy who was in contact through his job with massive amounts of information. what sparked off his interest in leaking, and he has largely admitted that he did pass information to wikileaks now, was that he came across, first of all, evidence that his superiors were treating local iraqi employees very, very poorly and were being due police si to us with them. we know that from web chats he's alleged to have had with his hacker. and he also came across the
famous collateral damage which was an apache helicopter attack. >> collateral murder. >> yes. these civilians were killed. that made him fully angry. then he is maybe a unique point in history because he had this access to a massive digital load of information. never happened before. we never had access to such information. >> right. >> it was never possible for at the touch of a button, he had to do a little bit more than that, download a few software and he will pass it on to another party which has never been able done done before. >> which connects with the, you called it hysteria, or fear, depending how you interpret this, of the vulnerability essentially of the entire, you know, edifice of security. after we take a break.
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talking about secrecy and the state's concern with preserving that secrecy, and i think that secrecy is overly broad and overly used. there are some secrets that, you know, one would want to keep. >> how can you do that when you have so much information that's over classified? that's one of the sort of unspoken issues that have come out of this is how much of that information really needed to be classified? that is something the obama administration when they first came in the last term said we're going to deal with this over classification and start declassifyideclas declassifying information. they're not going to do that. there's starting to be meaningful efforts in that regard. that's sort of a good sign. you have 5 million people who have clearances at the level of -- >> bradley manning. >> bradley manning. >> 5 million. this is a secret. when you think about secrets you don't think about a thing that 5 million people --
>> it came to me. >> i'm serious. in terms of what that word means in everyday language. >> right. >> to get back to whether this is whistle blowing and how we judge that. the whistle-blower protection law that was just passed does not cover national security federal employees as far as i'm pa wear. >> executive director. >> but the executive directive is viewed by some as toothless. it doesn't affirm a new right as far as i know. just to -- so the public right to know is probably most important in the national security realm. on the other hand, the sensitivity of secrets is most sensitive in the national security realm. >> right. >> so what i would like to see happen with the bradley manning case is some playing out of that. unfortunately, all we've had so far is a conversation about the treatment, about the kind of pre-trial, understandably so, but at some point i think the public deserves to know what was the harm done by the release of all of this. >> right. >> versus what did we gain
potentially. >> yeah, right. >> from the release of all of this? >> can i tie that into the bradley manning case again? >> sure. >> it's not just his treatment in quantico that is causing this chilling effect. you have to bear in mind the main charge, charge number one against him is aiding the enemy. now this is a massively chilling thing. what he's being accused of is by posting something via wikileaks on the internet, that by doing so he effectively had an interest in osama bin laden. they don't have to show in the government's mind, they don't have to show that he intended to do that. they're saying by the sheer act of putting it on the internet it was available to al qaeda. >> that's true, isn't it? >> yes. you cannot have a more chilling effect in the age of the internet on people than by charging someone with aiding the enemy, by helping osama bin laden. >> it carries the death penalty, that charge.
they won't carry that out. it will be life in prison if he's found guilty. >> the battlefield of today is very asymmetrical. you have enemies who are members of al qaeda, enemies who are affiliates of al qaeda and enemies who have nothing to do with them, shiite militias in iraq, for example. i think the big thing or one of the big things is the release of names of people who were allies and who are now put in danger. that is aiding and abetting. that is providing a target list of people to target who we're working with. as opposed to sensationalizing it with the name of osama bin laden, we certainly did aid people who do not have our best interests in mind, certainly in being able to target -- >> let me say one thing though. factually one of the things i think that needs to be established -- that would be established in a trial process that has not to my mind been definitively established is the degree to which that has happened. the government has said it's happened. it has not been staeblgd that
that has happened. it seems plausible to me that it has. i'm not saying it has. we do not know definitively in which instances and what harm was caused. >> even wikileaks response was if a translator, interpreter, or an intelligence asset was killed in iraq, afghanistan, any number of places, those are dangerous places. we don't know if we can directly attribute it to wikileaks. >> julian assange's approach has been there is no secret information. i wish frankly bradley had come to pogo or an organization that works with whistle blowers to help protect him from himself. what matters? what can we make sure to make sure we're not having him go what he's going through now. bring him to congress. there are ways this could have been done that would have dramatically changed his future as well as making the
information come out. >> i want to talk about what you call the chilling effect. this idea of the leaks that have become something that's hotly debated. who they help and who they hurt and whether we should have more or less of them. who should be doing the leaking, let's talk about that right after this break. [ male announcer ] where do you turn for legal matters?
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personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. there's been all this talk in washington recently about leaks and how evil leaks are. here's david axlerod speaking to abc in june about the accusations that the white house has been leaking information. particularly that will put them in a good light with the raid that killed osama bin laden. take a look. >> we've come under attack because we've been tougher on leaks than any administration in recent history. we've been criticized for that. it's the right thing to do because of the very issue that's been raised. we want to make sure that the people we assign to these very difficult tasks are safe or as safe as they can be. >> now i want to say there's an incredible double standard here which is that it's very clear
that people inside in the administration are going to reporters and telling them lots of stuff about -- i mean, all the articles you see on the front page couldn't happen -- >> how about s.e.a.l. team 6 and they go and work with the video game and they get a slap on their wrist because they're popular and they don't get in trouble but there are definitely times when you need to leak. you go through the system. tom drake tried internally. had to finally stop criminal activity by our government. tom tam is another case that we didn't talk about. justice department also about the warrantless wire taps. nothing happens. you have to go public when the government is doing something wrong. >> there's no question leaks are selectively prosecuted. in the last four years the critics of embarrassing government policies, ironically policies that were implemented under the bush administration have been prosecuted most harshly.
has anyone been prosecuted for overclassifying information? >> yes. >> as far as i know, no. >> right. >> so that's another debate that i think has to happen. in terms of congress though, you know, i don't know that that will get people very far. from what i understand, congress has been pressuring the obama administration to crack down harder on leaks. >> yes. >> not to do less. >> they're jumping on top of each other. >> it's not just the administration, it's sort of the aftermath of wikileaks, congressional pressure which as far as i know is bipartisan. >> yes. >> i just think the elephant in the room here is the growth of government secrecy. that is really the issue. the question is what are -- particularly in the age of the unending war on terror, right? what do we as citizens have access to? there's been a massive growth of what is secret, and this has been well-documented. just the number of people that have access to classified information at 5 million people,
right? the number of people, private contractors and government employees and all sort of people who have access to this nflgt. more and more information about what the government is doing put behind the curtain of secrecy, behind the curtain of classification and there are no mechanisms in place as far as i can tell with real teeth and real strength that can ever incentive advise people to err on the side of openness. and for reasons that are in some cases incredibly compelling life or death reasons. it's not like people are necessarily nefarious. it's that if you're making a tough call on secrecy or openness, the risk of putting something out there that shouldn't be seems to you as the person making that judgment much larger -- >> always. >> -- than keeping something hidden that shouldn't be open. >> as i was referencing, it is almost never been true but there is one case, it's pretty fascinating, where bill leonard, a former federal official was working on the drake case saw where there had been clearly a
document that should not have been classified. he used to run for the government the information security oversight office. he's actually filed a complaint. it's the first i've ever heard of. against the federal officials who had classified something they should not have. everything that we're seeing is they don't know how to handle this because it's never happened before. >> that's face si nating. >> i think there's an even larger question than secrecy which is how much does the public actually want to know at this point. >> that's maybe the deeper question. what do we know that we didn't know last week? my answer after this. th have ld a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. so i introduced jill to crest pro-health for life. selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel. conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life. so jill can keep living the good life. crest. life opens up when you do.
in just a moment what we know now that we department know last week. first a quick update on a story we did last weekend. on saturday we took a look at the cultural phenomenon that was black friday. we discussed consumer behavior, the line waiting and getting up too early. we focused on the amount of money that stores like walmart can make on black friday. it can be up to 40% of their annual sales. i'm compelled to mention this after a fire in a bang gla desh garment factory killed 112 workers. the cost of those lives should bear significant loss to walmart's reputation. walmart along with the walt disney company appears the use of factories to make their clothes. retailers have a responsibility to make sureclothes. they should have a responsibility to make sure the overseas factories that manufacture their products were safe. they said they decided to the stop doing business with it. a supplier had continued to use the factory without their authorization. sears has issued a similar story. sean p. diddy combs, whose clothing label eniche had clothes still on the sewing machines inside the factory, has agreed to pay the family members of the dead workers $1200 each. what do we know now? we now know that walmart workers
aren't the only low wage workers. on thursday, over two dozen fast food restaurants, included mcdonald's burger king, demanded a wage to $15 an hour as well as recognition of the newly formed union. $8 an hour is the current rate. fast food workers are also literally the lowest paid category of employees in the country. we know that building sufficient labor powers in those air why is of service economy where job creation is strongest, retail, home care, is one of the key areas to reduce the economy speaking of building economy, baseball and the american labor movement have lost marvin mill herb the
legendary economist and baseball player's union leader died this week at 95. he was chosen as head of the players un none why 1956, fresh from a job with the united steel workers of america. he set aside with relationships with management. players were owned almost like thorough bread horses and had no ability to solicit bids from other teams i i had the pleasure of interviewing him. he described it as unionism was treason. for very well think people that owned franchises, baseball was a respite of the tension and problems elsewhere. here he could control everything. no grievance procedure, no salary arbitration, no nothing. miller changed all that by incull kating players with notions of solidarity. he helped create the modern free agency system in which players
make a fair share of the tremendous amount of revenue they generate for the owners. as i mentioned in my book, if the median american wage earner had been able to join a marvin miller union, that wage earner who have seep his or her inflation-adjusted wages increase from just under $5,000 in 1966 to just over $62,000 by 1986. besides his titanic impact on baseball, he is not in baseball's hall of fame. we now know that is time for that to change. i want to find out what my guests know that they didn't know at the beginning of the week. danielle? >> matt diaz, another award winner was just disbarred this week as an attorney. this is a navy jag officer down at guantanamo who thought that we can't be legally detaining these people without acknowledging who they were. he leaked their names to a civil rights organization, served time in the bringing for that, later
the supreme court vindicated him. despite that, he is no longer allowed to be an attorney. a real crime. >> what we know or should know is that the passage of the landmark whistle blower protection act does not mean that whistle blowers will be protected. that happened in 2002 with sarbanes oxley supposedly protecting private sector workers. eight years later, all the workers who filed complaints, 99% of them did not get protected from reprisal. it is up to the public to stand for what happens when these laws are implemented. i want to plug a terrific piece of long-form journalism on the subject of labor rights. scott sherman writing about the great labor strike that happened. changing the face of this
profession. >> take a look. we now know that two major new york media figures have pretty heavy questions to answer as a result of the inquiry in the u.k. into press behavior as a result of the phone hacking scandal. it is 1 million pages long. tiny bits are important here in new york, because james murdoch, son of rupert and some people think heir to the huge empire, why he was so unethically engaged in what was going on? did he know who are more than he told us? he also asked why did the final editor of the news of the world before it shut down, why didn't he investigate more deeply into it? >> we have been losing a number of troops to suicide. rates are higher than they have ever been, approximately 18
veterans a day. the department of defense is taking a look at unifying sue site attempts. >> if there is an unsuccessful attempt. i would love to have you back on the show to talk about the really important issue. >> my thanks to daniel brian for the project. a.l. press, author of beautiful souls, saying no, a really fantastic book you should check out. thank you all for getting up. thank you for joining us today for "up." join us tomorrow sunday morning at 8:00 when i'll have connecticut governor, daniel malloy, talking about washington's tax battle. >> coming up next, melissa harris perry. will republicans come to understand this is an offer they simply cannot refuse? that and the woman suing the